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Saturday 15th February

The role of the HSE in work at height

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the Government agency responsible for regulating health and safety at work. You can find out more about them here or read on to find out more.

What is the HSE’s role in work at height?

The HSE have various roles in managing work at height, which we summarise here.


The HSE provides information, advice, and guidance to inform those working at height how to comply with the law. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 a brief guide is an excellent example of documents they produce, but you’ll find plenty more information on their website, including industry-specific advice.


The HSE work closely with trade organisations, professional bodies, unions, businesses, and stakeholders. They ensure a strong focus on safety and conduct consultations, prepare proposals for regulations and codes of practices.

Presents the statistics

Did you know that 147 fatal accidents occurred in 2018/2019 and 40 of those were because of falls from height? The HSE collate and report health and safety statistics for Great Britain. They look at all elements from fatal accidents to non-fatal injuries, ill health, and the costs to businesses.

Enforces the law

If accidents occur or if they are made aware of breaches, the HSE carry out inspections and investigations and enforce the law as necessary. They can serve or edit notices, withdraw approvals, issue cautions, and prosecute. They’ll highlight what you need to do to comply with the law and by when and will follow up to confirm compliance. They also publish data on prosecutions and their outcomes – see the work at height breaches for the last 12 months on the HSE website.